Truman Capote and James Baldwin, in Solo Turns, Will Be Center Stage in Philly

News   Truman Capote and James Baldwin, in Solo Turns, Will Be Center Stage in Philly
Two cultural luminaries will light up Philadelphia's Adrienne Theatre Second Stage in January 2010 when Mauckingbird Theatre Company puts solo plays about James Baldwin and Truman Capote on stage, in repertory.
Chris Faith will star in Tru
Chris Faith will star in Tru Photo by James J. Kriegsmann Jr.

Artistic director Peter Reynolds announced Aug. 10 that Mauckingbird, devoted to plays of gay content or by gay writers, will present Tru by Jay Presson Allen and The Threshing Floor by writer-actor James Ijames, who will play all the roles in the latter title. Exact show dates are not determined, but the repertory will play Jan. 8-31, 2010.

Set during Christmastime 1975, Tru "provides a look into the psyche of Truman Capote as he reels from social shunning by his moneyed friends following the publication of 'La Cote Basque, 1965,' a gossip-filled excerpt from his larger, never-to-be finished work, 'Answered Prayers.'"

The one-man tour de force (which won Robert Morse a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play) will feature Barrymore Award nominee Chris Faith as Capote. Faith has appeared Off-Broadway in The Secret Garden and performed opposite Linda Eder in The Seduction of Sheila Valentine. He has appeared at the Wilma Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Act II Playhouse, Lenape Regional Arts Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and Luna Theatre.

Tony Braithwaite will direct Tru. He and Faith have worked together many times in such varied projects as Grease, Good Evening, Stones in His Pockets and The Odd Couple.

The Threshing Floor is an imagined encounter between James Baldwin and a fictional graduate student at his home in the south of France. "The piece examines how Baldwin's personal history shapes the young student's life," according to Mauckingbird. "Darting from 1920s Harlem to the Bohemian Utopia of Paris in the '40s to the civil unrest of the '50s and '60s and back. The audience is visited by numerous figures from Baldwin’s life as well as giants of American literature and popular culture. Luminaries from Josephine Baker to Beauford Delany to Eldridge Cleaver take the stage in this tour de force solo performance celebrating the life, ideas, and everlasting imprint of the formidable wit and insight of James Baldwin." Playwright James Ijames will also star in The Threshing Floor. A Philadelphia-based actor and playwright, Ijames is a native of Bessemer City, NC. He received his BA in drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and MFA in acting from Temple University. His regional theater credits include Grey Gardens (Philadelphia Theatre Company), An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Beouf (Arden Theatre), Voices Underwater (Gas and Electric Arts), PROM (New Paradise Laboratories) and Ponies (Gloucester Stage Company). He has written several plays and solo performance pieces including Osiris:Redux, The Moste Lamentable Tragadie of Tobias L. Jason, Henry Box Brown Plays Westminster Abbey, Lily and Spence and She Went to War.

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Mauckingbird is currently presenting John Logan's Never the Sinner.

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